Inspiring Students: Sustainability + Empowerment + Community

CCASD Faculty

Dave Roth – CCASD Superintendent

Mr. Roth has been a veteran school administrator in Flagstaff for over 30 years. In his role at Coconino County Accommodation School District he is the educational leader to Ponderosa High School, Coconino County Juvenile Detention and to the Coconino County Jail educational program for those under the age of 18. With the efforts of the highly qualified educators in our school district and the support of county employees, we offer quality educational opportunities to our students and the hope for a better future.

Laura Swarts – Detention School Teacher

Ms. Swarts earned her Bachelor of Science Degree with a duel major in Elementary Education and Special Education from Northern Arizona University. She attended the University of Phoenix for her graduate work in counseling. She holds a SEI endorsement and is highly qualified in mathematics.

Ms. Swarts has taught in special education for over 30 years. Her special education background is in learning and emotional disabilities. She taught special education in the public school setting before coming to Coconino County Accommodation School District (CCASD).

Melanie Masek – Special Education Director

Ms. Masek was raised in southern New Mexico, where she attended New Mexico State University before enlisting in the Navy as a medic. Melanie’s 38-year teaching career has taken her from Roy, NM to Albuquerque to Southeast Asia and back to the Southwest and Flagstaff.

Melanie received her Masters Degree in special education from Grand Canyon University and has taught in FUSD as well as the alternative schools of Montessori and Waldorf in Flagstaff. She came to CCASD as special education director in 2011, and has never looked back. Melanie likes all kinds of travel, with road trips currently being her favorite. Ms. Masek likes to spend time in the garden, in her studio, with her animals, and with her husband, though not necessarily in that order.

John Lee – JDC Transition Counselor

John Lee’s mission is to make a difference in the community in which he lives by using his time, talents and skills to help others live healthier lives. John has a Bachelors of Science Degree in Applied Sociology with an emphasis in Family Studies at Northern Arizona University and currently is working on his Masters of Science in Professional Counseling from Grand Canyon University.

John is originally from the Bay Area of Northern California, the land of cultural diversity and beauty. John is married and a dad to a 2 1/2 year of daughter and a 4 month old son. John states that the most rewarding part of his job is giving hope to students that come from very challenging situations.

Ann Cooley – Jail Education Teacher

Ann Cooley has a Masters in both History and Education from Northern Arizona University.  She began teaching art and English at Window Rock High School in Window Rock, AZ on the Navajo Reservation.  She is highly qualified in art, English, and history.  As an art teacher, six students won or placed at the prestigious Gallup, New Mexico Southwest Foundation Art Contest.  Currently, she is teaching at the jail with an emphasis on reading, metacognition, world and American history, art, and culture.

Jeanie Confer – CCASD Business Manager

Jeanie grew up in Westchester County New York and graduated from a small private school in her home state. Jeanie pursued her dream in 1997 to live in Colorado where she worked in the accounting department at Winter Park Resort.

Jeanie has lived in Flagstaff for 13 years and has worked as a Business Manager for the Hopi Tribe, Northern Arizona University and just recently started her position at Coconino County Accommodation School District. She currently resides in Flagstaff with her dogs Cayenne and Bean and her parrots Homer and Scooter.

Mary McCarron – CCASD Receptionist/Registrar

Mary McCarron (Ms. Mac) was born in Garden City Michigan and graduated from Marygrove College in the City of Detroit. She has been a life-long tiger fan. Mary moved to Flagstaff in 1980 and the proud mother of two grown daughters. Mary has worked as a school support staff person since 1995. Mary has been at Ponderosa High School since 2005 and is proud to be a founding member of our school.

Richard Clark – Custodian/Maintenance

Richard Clark has been the Ponderosa High School custodian/maintenance person since 2009. He has 25 years of expertise in the maintenance and janitorial fields and uses that experience to help Ponderosa High School look its best for our students, parents and staff.

Richard is a proud father of four girls who have grown, moved on to college, and beyond and know first hand the importance of a good education. Richard loves his work at Ponderosa High School and for playing an important role in making our school an excellent educational experience for our students.


Ponderosa Highschool Faculty

Josh Armstrong – Science Teacher

Mr. Armstrong teaches Biology and various creative electives at Ponderosa.  He has been teaching science in the Flagstaff community for fifteen years.  Mr. Armstrong has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Bilingual/Multicultural Education from Northern Arizona University.

When outside the classroom Mr. Armstrong enjoys exploring the Colorado Plateau by boat, mountain bike, motorcycle or boot.  He brings his enthusiasm for the outdoors and environmental education to the classroom and has taken scores of students on adventures ranging from backpacking trips and climbing adventures to rafting trips on the rivers of the plateau.

Emily Morton – Guidance Counselor

Mrs. Morton has been in the field of education for 16 years. She received her BA degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Mathematics from California State University, Bakersfield. She then went on to receive a Master’s degree in Psychology (Marriage and Family Therapy Emphasis) and a second Masters Degree in Education/School Counseling. Mrs. Morton has taught a wide range of subjects and ages from 1st grade through Algebra at the Community College level and has served as a school counselor for over 10 years in both elementary/middle and high schools.
She grew up in Lancaster, CA , and then spent 9 years in Lake Havasu City, AZ before moving to Flagstaff in 2015.

Mrs. Morton is a big advocate for community involvement, visual and performing arts, and health and fitness. In her spare time you may find her teaching a yoga or fitness class at the gym, dancing ballet,  playing the violin with the Flagstaff Symphony or leading a group at church.  She is currently supporting her community by sitting on the board for both the Therapy Pets of Northern Arizona and also the Flagstaff Figure Skating Club.
Mrs. Morton’s family is made complete by her husband, 6 year old daughter, and 2 dogs. She loves the sunshine, the beach and all things coastal!

Pete Holloway – Math/Science Teacher

Originally from northern New England, he graduated from Falmouth High in 1984. He served a three year enlistment in the U.S. Army as a medic serving in South Korea and West Germany.  Using the G.I. Bill he enrolled in Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute's building construction program.  His interest and appreciation for the out of doors led to a program of study at the University of Maine in Forestry.

That decision eventually brought him to Arizona, for a position on the Grand Canyon's Fire Crew and then to the Blue Ridge Hot Shots. In 1997 he returned to school at Northern Arizona University for a post degree certification in secondary science.  After teaching in Cochise and Gila Counties, he started his own business as a remodel and repair contractor.  During the slow period of building he signed a two-month contract with CCASD.  What originally started out as a winter fill in job has morphed into a career.

Mr. Holloway taught at Juvenile Detention for five years and just recently became a member of the Ponderosa High School faculty.

David Roth – Principal

Mr. Roth has been Principal of Ponderosa High School since July 1, 2010. As a native of Chicago Illinois Dave moved to Arizona in the fall of 1972 and received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Arizona and a Master of Arts in Secondary Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University.

Dave is a veteran educator with a career of over 35 years in Flagstaff. At Coconino High School he was a teacher, coach, and Assistant Principal and later served 20 years as that buildings principal. Dave currently is the educational leader for Ponderosa High School and Coconino County Juvenile Detention Education. Mr. Roth enjoys his work in education and enjoys traveling, photography, and hiking.

John Taylor – Greenhouse Consultant / Instructor

John Taylor is a gardener and educator born and raised in Flagstaff, AZ. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in the History of Art from Yale University, and a Master’s Degree in Business from the University of Texas at Austin. For ten years he owned and operated a landscape design, install and maintenance company; and also worked as an ecological restoration contractor. Since 2009 Mr. Taylor has worked in the Flagstaff Unified and Coconino County School Districts leading hands-on garden and sustainability programs.

In 2012 Mr. Taylor founded Terra BIRDS, a non-profit organization with mission to educate and empower youth through gardening to help prepare them as the stewards of a sustainable future for humanity.

Megan Walker – English

Ms. Walker has been teaching English Language Arts since 2004. Her teaching experience includes middle school, high school, community college, and university courses. Over the years, Ms. Walker has worked with many students in outdoor learning contexts, promoting opportunities for students to practice discovery learning connected to place.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in English/Secondary Education, a Master of Arts in English, and is currently a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Instruction program at Northern Arizona University.

Ms. Walker grew up in Flagstaff and feels lucky to call this community home. When she is not in the classroom, she enjoys exploring the outdoors with her family.

Rachel Steagall – Science and Social Studies – Leadership Teacher

Ms. Steagall grew up in Northern California and immigrated to Flagstaff in 1992 to attend college at Northern Arizona University and earned her Bachelor's Degree in biochemistry in 1998. Rachel  received her 1st Master's degree in 2003, specializing in endocrinology and toxicology, and will be graduating with her Masters in Public Administration from Northern Arizona University this May.Besides being a student and life-long learner, Rachel is a mother to Tristan and Hannah, who both share her love of learning, travel and community service.

Ms. Steagall helped open the doors to Ponderosa High School in the fall of 2005 and since that time has been the cornerstone for the quality education and innovative programs at Ponderosa High School. For her efforts, Ms. Steagall was awarded the Coconino County Teacher of the Year by the Arizona Rural Schools Association in 2009, as well as qualifying as a finalist for the State Teacher of the Year competition.

Hear the National Public Radio interview about Ponderosa High School here

Senior Economics Class Project

Mary McCarron – Office Manager and Registrar

Mary McCarron (Ms. Mac) was born in Garden City Michigan and graduated from Marygrove College in the City of Detroit. She has been a life-long tiger fan. Mary moved to Flagstaff in 1980 and the proud mother of two grown daughters.

Mary has worked as a school support staff person since 1995. Mary has been at Ponderosa High School since 2005 and is proud to be a founding member of our school.



Tse Yaato Highschool Faculty

Traci Parker – Principal

Traci Parker has been Principal of Tse’Yaato’ High School since July 1, 2012. As a native of Farmington, Missouri, Mrs. Parker moved to Arizona in the summer of 2003. Mrs. Parker received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Central Methodist University of Missouri in 1997, a Master’s of Science in Education from Southwest Baptist University of Missouri in 1998, and a Master’s of Science in Educational Leadership from Doane University of Nebraska in 2007.

Mrs. Parker is a veteran educator with a career of over 16 years in the classroom before switching to administration. Mrs. Parker began her career as a special education inclusion paraprofessional while in college and then taught middle school mathematics for seven years in Missouri. After, moving to Page, Arizona in 2003, Mrs. Parker spent the next nine years teaching high school mathematics before stepping in as the principal of Tse’Yaato’ High School. Mrs. Parker enjoys her work in education as well as reading, riding all terrain vehicles, building things, and traveling.

Dana Bennett – Registrar

Mrs. Dana Bennett is native to Page, AZ, and attended college in Des Moines, Iowa.  Mrs. Bennett has over 10 years of experience in school settings where she has served as both an administrative assistant and classroom paraprofessional.  Prior to working in education, Mrs. Bennett worked for the City of Page for 15 years.   In Mrs. Bennett's spare time she enjoys crafts, hunting, camping, riding atvs and spending time with her family.

Rebecca Miller – Special Education/English Teacher

A resident of Page since 2008, Ms Miller worked at Page High School for two years before taking over the special education position at Tse’Yaato’ High School. This year marks her tenth year with the Coconino School District. Ms Miller graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine with a degree in Speech/Theatre in 1974 and has been an educator since that time. Recently, she added special education to her Arizona certification. In her spare time she reads, works in her garden and corrects papers.

Albert Tso-Teacher

Mr. Tso is native to Page, AZ, and earned his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mathematics Education from Northern Arizona University in 1985 and his Master’s of Arts in Teaching of Mathematics in 1991 (NAU).  Mr. Tso first taught high school mathematics for Tuba City from 1985 to 1996.  Then, he moved on to Page High School where Mr. Tso taught for nearly 20 years.  Mr. Tso’s contributions to our community and students are numerous and we are beyond excited to have him available to Tse’Yaato’ High School students for years to come.  In Mr. Tso’s spare time, he enjoys activities with his family and riding his motorcycle.

Mark Openshaw – Social Studies Teacher

Mr. Openshaw is from the Phoenix area and received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in History from Northern Arizona University in 2008.  He is certified in Secondary History, Political Science, American Government, and Economics.  Mr. Openshaw also enjoys sports and mentoring young athletes.  In addition to teaching at Tse’Yaato’ High School, Mr. Openshaw is an assistant football coach for Page High School where he shares his love for the sport.  Before pursuing a career in education, Mr. Openshaw exhibited his natural leadership skills as a branch manager for Enterprise Rent-A-Car.  He was also an Eagle Scout.


Nancy Walker – TAPP Coordinator

Mrs. Walker, a long term Page resident and educator, received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Home Economics from Northern Arizona State University in 1981 and a Master’s of Arts degree in Teaching from Grand Canyon University in 2002.  Mrs. Walker previously served as the CTE director (15 yrs) in the Page Unified School district.  Prior to that, she taught various CTE courses for Page High School; such as, Business, Hospitality, Culinary Arts, and Clothing for a number of years.  Mrs. Walker also loves babies!  In the TAPP coordinator position, Mrs. Walker will assist new parents to be able to complete their high school education and learn critical parenting and child development skills while having the infants close by in the classroom.  In her spare time, she enjoys visiting with her children and grandchildren.

Richie Suico-Clutter

Mrs. Clutter immigrated to Page, Arizona in 2012 from the Philippines. She graduated from Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Technology. Mrs. Clutter also attended a year of graduate school in Food Science at the University of the Philippines-Mindanao while working as a university research and graduate assistant. Prior to coordinating the Plato lab, she gained experience in the American education system by substitute teaching. Mrs. Clutter loves playing the piano, ping pong, and badminton. She also has a passion for traveling.